Sufjan Stevens speaks up for refugees

Some more glimmers of hope in the darkness, and who better to glimmer than Sufjan. Pitchfork reports: “Sufjan Stevens has shared a new statement addressed to America about immigrants and refugees. “There is really no such thing as an illegal immigrant, for we are all immigrants and refugees in a wildly changing world that is dominated by superfluous boundaries built by blood and war,” the note reads. “We are all complicit in the injustices against basic human rights and common decency, to put it mildly, which renders our own ‘inalienable rights’ as questionable or obsolete.”  Continue reading “Sufjan Stevens speaks up for refugees”

Jason Isbell Reunites with DBT in Nashville – Watch

Late to the party with this one sorry (it was a difficult weekend for the world. Jason would understand). RS Country reports: “Jason Isbell reunited with the Drive-By Truckers Thursday night, joining his old band for a one-off performance of the Decoration Day track “Heathens” at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. Taking the stage not as a frontman, but as a guitar-playing sideman, Isbell spent the entirety of the performance on stage right, flashing smiles at bandleader Patterson Hood and picking out descending riffs on his guitar. The appreciation was mutual, with a grinning Hood leaving the microphone stand multiple times to stand by Isbell’s side. If there was bad blood between the two songwriters upon Isbell’s exit from the group in 2007, it’s all water under the bridge now, with the video above showcasing a pair of Americana kingpins who have made amends as they continue to make career-defining music.  Continue reading “Jason Isbell Reunites with DBT in Nashville – Watch”

Levi Cuss ‘’Night Thief’’ (Independent, 2017)

Who is Levi Cuss? If you listen to this record you might just find out, delving into a dark past and redemption through the salvation of music and poetry. Joining the thriving ”Canamericana’’ group of artists driving Americana music forward and out of a predominantly southern heritage, Levi has created an honest and raw record with no frills and dripped with gorgeous steel guitar wailing to accompany his laments, and great blues guitar to texture his more salacious background, not dissimilarly to Steve Earle in his Terraplane record. Continue reading “Levi Cuss ‘’Night Thief’’ (Independent, 2017)”

Dirty Dozen: Heath Green and the Makeshifters

Heath Green and The Makeshifters’ self-titled debut album will be released on limited vinyl, CD, digital and streaming formats March 3rd via Alive Naturalsound Records. The Birmingham, AL-based band’s heavy sound has been compared to Leon Russell & The Shelter People, Joe Cocker and Humble Pie. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: Heath Green and the Makeshifters”

Megan & The Common Threads – “Stories To Tell” (Independent, 2016)

This six track EP shows that Britain can do contemporary country just as well if not better than America.  From Nashville, but now living in London, Megan O’Neill and her five piece band (who co-write the songs with her) have a polished country sound that, while it has poppy overtones has just enough grit to keep it interesting and stop it sliding into that formulaic Nashville sound.  Yes there are big choruses, yes there are hooks galore, yes there are big ballads and yes there’s a rocky number or two but the band make them their own.  They play with style and panache, with Mairead Furlong’s fiddle being particularly notable, and O’Neill’s crystal and emotive vocals carry everything along perfectly. Continue reading “Megan & The Common Threads – “Stories To Tell” (Independent, 2016)”

Dirty Dozen: The Whiskey Gentry

Following the release of their first two acclaimed albums, Please Make Welcome (2011) and Holly Grove (2013), the Atlanta-based band The Whiskey Gentry are set to release their third full-length studio album entitled Dead Ringer on April 7th. On it, the husband and wife duo of Lauren Staley & Jason Morrow and bandmates have created an effort that builds on many of the sounds of their previous albums – incorporating deep country, Americana, honky-tonk, bluegrass and a stiff shot of gritty rock ’n’ roll, yet it also finds the band testing themselves and pushing beyond their own boundaries. Continue reading “Dirty Dozen: The Whiskey Gentry”